Finding Balance with Jennifer Edewaard
When I wrote a post about how I schedule my work week and how I get it all done as a stay at home mom of 2 toddlers and business owner of a growing, thriving business, the response was overwhelming. I quickly realized how many of you needed guidance for creating your own schedule and finding balance between work and life. I realized that we all want a glimpse of how others are making it work so we can better structure our own lives.
I believe that balance does exist and is actually necessary for our sanity and well being. Even though I hear often that balance doesn't exist, I feel that we each have our own version of balance and that we can find it in our lives. It's a process that we're all constantly living in and adjusting to in different seasons.
Because of this, I was inspired to start this series featuring other busy women and business owners sharing how they manage their schedules and work towards work/life balance. This series features talented and encouraging women like you and a look into what balance looks like for them. The idea is to share a real-life version of balance and how we each have our own variation of it depending on our life and season.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business or work.
I am a daughter of the King, a grateful wife to Jonathan, and a blessed mama to Mason. Most days you can find me sipping on coffee (probably a few cups throughout the day, and make that a venti with an extra shot of espresso and coconut milk), making messes and running around with my little guy. My mission in my ministry and business is to equip women to embrace their imperfect purpose, to encourage and inspire women to live that purpose rooted in Christ, to choose an intentional life, and stop striving for perfection. I also create intentional and purpose-filled products and tools to equip women in their walk with the Lord. I believe that we can all embrace our imperfections as they lead us to our purpose. I am living to make Him know in all that I do as I live abundantly in His grace, seek His truth, and stand in His glory.
Take us through your typical day and your main daily responsibilities.
A typical day looks like waking up before my little guy to spend some time in the word an journaling. I love to start with a cup of coffee too. Then I sit with my calendar and look at what needs to be done that day and what the week looks like. Then it is time to get ready, feed Mason, make sure we are out the door for preschool by 8:45 ( two days a week) and 8 am the other two days.
Being a mama is my number one job, and when he is in preschool I use that time for my ministry/business. I either write/create content/manage daily tasks/emails manage social media, or run errands while I have that work time. Once I pick him up from school its back to full-time mama. We have lunch, and then depending on the day, I take my son to different therapies ( PT, OT, and Speech). While I wait for him in those appointments, I use that time for some down time- I love to read so I usually read or write during that time. Then it is nap time, and this is my other pocket of time to get to do some work. I do not have tons of time, 2 hours or so, so I have to use it wisely and I try to turn off distractions and set up only a few tasks in that time frame to make the most of that time. Then when my son wakes up we play, spend time outside and then prepare dinner!
It is crazy how fast the days seem to go by and its so important to have that balance so that I don't miss the special moments that each day has, both as a mama and in my ministry/business. We have dinner as a family around 6 pm, then its bath time and bedtime for Mason. Usually, he is asleep by 7:30. My husband and I use that time after he is asleep for exercising, winding down, checking in with each other, spending time together, and finishing any tasks we have around the house or with work. I set up everything we need for the next day, and head up to bed around 10 pm. I love to read and pray for a bit before going to sleep.
How do you manage your schedule?
Grace. Balance. Intentionality. I would say those three words in that order is how I manage it all. Being a mama is the best gift God has ever blessed me with, I always need His grace, a whole lot of balance in parenting and getting things done at home, and being intentional with our time together is most important for me. When I began writing and saw that my ministry and business was blossoming I knew that all I ever wanted to do with it was to glorify the Lord. So again, grace, balance, and intention are what keep the schedule for both the ministry and business going.
There are days when I do not get what I wanted to do for work but I give myself grace because I am here to serve and I know the Lord will create that space for it. I have learned that balance is what will keep me productive-- it takes the pressure away and opens the way for time to be a mama and time to serve my tribe. I have found that being intentional with my day also makes way to productivity and being present at the same time. With intention, the pockets of the schedule are balanced. I find that when I accept the grace that I have been given, I am much better at balancing and being flexible and expectant with my time. I am able to cultivate an intentional day when I start from a place of rest and slow-- I know the word slow might not sound like you would get anything was done but I am here to tell you SLOW is progress.
When we are rushed, we miss things, moments, important things in our days-- so when we can stem from a place of slow we create that sense of balance and intention. It doesn't mean that we are going "slow" we are just coming from a calm space to balance our lives so that we are living that full, abundant life.
What is one thing you always make time for?
GOD! He is what gives balance in my day and in my life! He is the source of my energy, peace, and hope that fuels me so that I can be the most effective for my family and my work through Him. Honestly, there are times in my day that I put a lot aside and spend time with Him even if I have work or tasks at home to be done. I also make time for my son to see me spending time with the Lord because He knows that is ultimately where our heart and passion comes from. Making time for the Lord always makes me a stronger daughter of the Lord, wife, and mama.
How do you find rest?
I find rest by taking time to myself to refresh. With that also comes letting go of all the guilt that might come with taking time to yourself. There have been days where I simply needed a short nap-- so when Mason napped I have taken a nap. This rest to refresh also looks like me just being still, sitting in prayer, going for a walk in the morning or evening, or writing. I have found it important to have check-ins with my self on how I am feeling and what I need to soak up from the Lord to have that restful spirit. I love spending time sipping on a hot cup of coffee with my bible and notebook, that is such filling rest for me.
How do you find the balance between work and home?
I really focus on the time that is in front of me. When I am in home mode I am intentional about being present with my husband and son. When I am in work mode I am efficient and do what I can and let the rest wait-- learning to give myself that grace for the unfinished to be just that has been monumental. We cannot do it ALL well, we can only do a little at a time really well, so I balance that time and try very hard not to let them get mixed together.
Tell us one thing that you have learned about finding balance in your life.
Freedom. I experience true freedom in this balanced life. God, my family, my self, and my work-- this freedom that the balance created allow me to live a life full of HIs abundance. At the end of the day, I want all aspects of my day to be all-encompassing of Him and His glory in all areas of my life.
What is one piece of advice you would give readers about finding their own balance?
Embrace all the moments of your day, good or bad, perfect or imperfect, fast or slow, small or large-- so that you can live abundantly in His grace, seek His truth, and stand in His glory. Live in the freedom that He gives us that gives way to balance.